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Buildings, Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2013), Pages 462-658

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Client–AEC Interface in Building Lifecycle Integration
Buildings 2013, 3(3), 462-481; doi:10.3390/buildings3030462
Received: 24 April 2013 / Revised: 29 May 2013 / Accepted: 4 July 2013 / Published: 23 July 2013
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Abstract
The creation and management of buildings over their lifecycle involves the cooperation of many organizations, which broadly fall into a client domain and AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) domain. While this mix of expertise is essential, the ineffective management of the boundaries between these
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The creation and management of buildings over their lifecycle involves the cooperation of many organizations, which broadly fall into a client domain and AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) domain. While this mix of expertise is essential, the ineffective management of the boundaries between these organizations can undermine building lifecycle performance. This paper explores client–AEC interactions at the project development and handover stages, with a view to discovering insights into client–AEC interface management for effective building lifecycle integration (BLI). The concept of boundary objects provided the theoretical framework to discuss findings from two case studies on the project development phase of a private finance initiative project, and the asset development process in a repeat client organization. The findings suggest that there are different emphases in boundary crossing activities at different stages, with boundary roles that relate to decision-making and authority to commit resources being more relevant at the project development stage, whereas the need to explain meanings appear to be more relevant at the handover stage. AEC professionals in client organizations play a crucial role in bridging knowledge boundaries about buildings, but this professional/functional strand to BLI needs to be effectively managed alongside the organizational boundaries, since the authority to resource BLI efforts resides within organizations. Full article
Open AccessArticle A City for All Citizens: Integrating Children and Youth from Marginalized Populations into City Planning
Buildings 2013, 3(3), 482-505; doi:10.3390/buildings3030482
Received: 17 May 2013 / Revised: 9 July 2013 / Accepted: 12 July 2013 / Published: 23 July 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1941 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Socially just, intergenerational urban spaces should not only accommodate children and adolescents, but engage them as participants in the planning and design of welcoming spaces. With this goal, city agencies in Boulder, Colorado, the Boulder Valley School District, the Children, Youth and Environments
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Socially just, intergenerational urban spaces should not only accommodate children and adolescents, but engage them as participants in the planning and design of welcoming spaces. With this goal, city agencies in Boulder, Colorado, the Boulder Valley School District, the Children, Youth and Environments Center at the University of Colorado, and a number of community organizations have been working in partnership to integrate young people’s ideas and concerns into the redesign of parks and civic areas and the identification of issues for city planning. Underlying their work is a commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and children’s rights to active citizenship from a young age. This paper describes approaches used to engage with young people and methods of participation, and reflects on lessons learned about how to most effectively involve youth from underrepresented populations and embed diverse youth voices into the culture of city planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing Spaces for City Living)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Wind Load Test of Earthbag Wall
Buildings 2013, 3(3), 532-544; doi:10.3390/buildings3030532
Received: 7 June 2013 / Revised: 3 July 2013 / Accepted: 22 July 2013 / Published: 7 August 2013
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Abstract
Earthbag construction is a sustainable, low-cost, housing option for developing countries. Earthbag structures are built of individual soil-filled fabric bags (i.e., sand bags) stacked in a running bond pattern. Once stacked, earthbags are compacted and the soil inside the bags is
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Earthbag construction is a sustainable, low-cost, housing option for developing countries. Earthbag structures are built of individual soil-filled fabric bags (i.e., sand bags) stacked in a running bond pattern. Once stacked, earthbags are compacted and the soil inside the bags is dried in-place to form earthen bricks. Barbed wires are placed between each course to affect shear transfer within the wall. Results of an out-of-plane load test on a full-scale earthbag wall are presented in this paper. The wall was subjected to out-of-plane pressure up to 3.16 kPa, which resulted in plastic deformations up to 50 mm. The wall did not collapse during loading. Wall behavior and force transfer mechanisms are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Planning a Regional Energy System in Association with the Creation of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), Statistical Analysis and Energy Efficiency Measures: An Italian Case Study
Buildings 2013, 3(3), 545-569; doi:10.3390/buildings3030545
Received: 8 April 2013 / Revised: 19 July 2013 / Accepted: 22 July 2013 / Published: 7 August 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Directive 2002/91/EC EPBD introduced the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as a tool to guide the real estate market in the creation of products (buildings) with improved energy performances. The EPC’s information could be useful in the determination of relevant policies and also in
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Directive 2002/91/EC EPBD introduced the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as a tool to guide the real estate market in the creation of products (buildings) with improved energy performances. The EPC’s information could be useful in the determination of relevant policies and also in studying the characteristics of the building resources of the territory. This paper presents a case study related to the EPC Database of the Emilia-Romagna Region in mid-northern Italy. The case study shows a way of elaborating the EPC information in statistical analysis evaluations with aggregate data, in order to measure a territory and then direct energy policies toward energy efficiency. A statistical approach was used to define a characteristic statistical indicator index of the EPC database, and compare the energy index with the bottom-up and top-down methods, in order to identify some energy policy scenarios. Full article
Open AccessArticle Energy-Efficient Technologies and the Building’s Saleable Floor Area: Bust or Boost for Highly-Efficient Green Construction?
Buildings 2013, 3(3), 570-587; doi:10.3390/buildings3030570
Received: 12 July 2013 / Revised: 11 August 2013 / Accepted: 16 August 2013 / Published: 26 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When the external measurements of a building are fixed, an increase in external wall thickness caused by additional insulation, for example, will lead to loss of saleable floor area. This issue has to be taken into account in the evaluation of investment profitability.
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When the external measurements of a building are fixed, an increase in external wall thickness caused by additional insulation, for example, will lead to loss of saleable floor area. This issue has to be taken into account in the evaluation of investment profitability. This paper examines how technologies used in energy-efficient residential building construction affect the available saleable floor area and how this impacts profitability of investment. Using a modeled building and an analysis of the average construction cost, we assessed losses and gains of saleable floor area in energy-efficient buildings. The analysis shows that the impact of potential losses or gains of saleable floor area should be taken into account when comparing investment alternatives: building energy-efficient green dwellings or building conventional ones. The results indicate that constructing energy-efficient buildings and introducing very energy-efficient technologies may be energy- and cost-effective even compared with conventional buildings. Employing new products in energy-efficient construction allows benefit to be drawn from lower energy consumption during the life cycle of the building, but also from the increase in saleable floor area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Conscious Architecture)
Open AccessArticle Fudo: An East Asian Notion of Climate and Sustainability
Buildings 2013, 3(3), 588-597; doi:10.3390/buildings3030588
Received: 15 July 2013 / Revised: 21 August 2013 / Accepted: 2 September 2013 / Published: 9 September 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (696 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
My paper discusses an East Asian notion of climate and its significance for sustainability. A particular reference is the environmental philosophy of Tetsuro Watsuji (1889–1960), a Japanese philosopher who reflected upon the meaning of climate, or “fudo” in the Sino-Japanese linguistic
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My paper discusses an East Asian notion of climate and its significance for sustainability. A particular reference is the environmental philosophy of Tetsuro Watsuji (1889–1960), a Japanese philosopher who reflected upon the meaning of climate, or “fudo” in the Sino-Japanese linguistic tradition. Watsuji sees fudo not merely as a collection of natural features—climatic, scenic, and topographical—of a given land, but also as the metaphor of subjectivity, or “who I am”. Furthermore, this self-discovery through fudo is never private but collective. By referring to a phenomenological notion of “ek-sistere”, or “to be out among other ‘I’s”, Watsuji demonstrates the pervasiveness of a climatic phenomenon and the ensuing inter-personal joining of different individuals to shape a collective sustainable measure in response to the phenomenon. My paper lastly concretizes the significance of fudo and its inter-personal ethical basis for sustainability by dwelling upon cross-ventilation in Japanese vernacular residential architecture. Cross-ventilation emerges only through what Watsuji calls “selfless openness” between different rooms predicated upon the joining of different ‘I’s soaked in hotness and humidity. Watsuji’s fudo thus offers a lesson that without considering the collective humane characteristic of a natural climatic phenomenon, any sustainable act is flawed and inefficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Conscious Architecture)
Open AccessArticle Approaches to Delay Claims Assessment Employed in the UK Construction Industry
Buildings 2013, 3(3), 598-620; doi:10.3390/buildings3030598
Received: 17 July 2013 / Revised: 6 August 2013 / Accepted: 21 August 2013 / Published: 11 September 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Construction project delays emanates from multiplicity of different sources of risk events. This, combined with high uncertainty in cause-effect relationships between the events and their impacts on project completion dates, have created immense difficulties in apportioning project delay responsibilities amongst contracting parties. This
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Construction project delays emanates from multiplicity of different sources of risk events. This, combined with high uncertainty in cause-effect relationships between the events and their impacts on project completion dates, have created immense difficulties in apportioning project delay responsibilities amongst contracting parties. This challenge is now dealt with by various delay analysis approaches, yet delay claims settlement continues to be a troublesome undertaking. Empirical research on these approaches as to their application in practice is limited, although such studies provide important reference sources to practitioners and researchers. As a contribution to addressing this gap, this paper reports on practitioners’ views on the approaches based on a UK nation-wide questionnaire survey of construction and consulting companies. The key findings of the study include: (1) delay claims are often resolved late and not close in time of occurrence of the delay events, creating more difficulties; (2) simplistic delay analysis approaches are widely used in practice and form the basis of successful claim resolutions, although they have major weaknesses; (3) the sophisticated approaches, although are more robust, are generally not popular in practice. To promote the use of these reliable approaches and help reduce or avoid disputes amongst claims parties, programming and record keeping practices must be improved as they do not facilitate the use of the approaches. Full article
Open AccessArticle Comparing Designers’ Problem-Solving Behavior in a Parametric Design Environment and a Geometric Modeling Environment
Buildings 2013, 3(3), 621-638; doi:10.3390/buildings3030621
Received: 31 May 2013 / Revised: 2 July 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 16 September 2013
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Abstract
This paper presents the results of a protocol study which compares designers’ behavior in a parametric design environment (PDE) and a geometric modeling environment (GME). An experiment was conducted in which seven designers were required to complete two architectural conceptual design tasks with
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This paper presents the results of a protocol study which compares designers’ behavior in a parametric design environment (PDE) and a geometric modeling environment (GME). An experiment was conducted in which seven designers were required to complete two architectural conceptual design tasks with similar complexity respectively in a PDE and GME. Protocol analysis is employed to compare the cognitive behavior of designers in these two environments. By analyzing the designers’ actions, including shifting between “problem” and “solution” spaces, it was possible to compare their cognitive activities in PDEs and GMEs. Results of this research suggest that designers put similar effort into the design problem space and the solution space in PDE and GME and that interaction between these two spaces also appears similar in the two design environments. However, different Problem-Solution index values and discontinuity ratios are found across design stages of the two design environments. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Building in China—A Green Leap Forward?
Buildings 2013, 3(3), 639-658; doi:10.3390/buildings3030639
Received: 17 July 2013 / Revised: 11 September 2013 / Accepted: 13 September 2013 / Published: 23 September 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China is constructing new commercial buildings at an enormous rate—roughly 2 billion square meters per year, with considerable interest and activity in green design and construction. We review the context of commercial building design and construction in China, and look at a specific project
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China is constructing new commercial buildings at an enormous rate—roughly 2 billion square meters per year, with considerable interest and activity in green design and construction. We review the context of commercial building design and construction in China, and look at a specific project as an example of a high performance, sustainable design, the Shenzhen Institute of Building Research (IBR). The IBR building incorporates over 40 sustainable technologies and strategies, including daylighting, natural ventilation, gray-water recycling, solar-energy generation, and highly efficient Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. We present measured data on the performance of the building, including detailed analysis by energy end use, water use, and occupant comfort and satisfaction. Total building energy consumption in 2011 was 1151 MWh, with an Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of 63 kWh/m2 (20 kBtu/ft2), which is 61% of the mean EUI value of 103 kWh/m2 (33 kBtu/ft2) for similar buildings in the region. We also comment on the unique design process, which incorporated passive strategies throughout the building, and has led to high occupant satisfaction with the natural ventilation, daylighting, and green patio work areas. Lastly we present thoughts on how the design philosophy of the IBR building can be a guide for low-energy design in different climate regions throughout China and elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Conscious Architecture)

Review

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Open AccessReview Construction Delay Analysis Techniques—A Review of Application Issues and Improvement Needs
Buildings 2013, 3(3), 506-531; doi:10.3390/buildings3030506
Received: 8 May 2013 / Revised: 1 July 2013 / Accepted: 18 July 2013 / Published: 23 July 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (731 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The time for performance of a project is usually of the essence to the employer and the contractor. This has made it quite imperative for contracting parties to analyse project delays for purposes of making right decisions on potential time and/or cost compensation
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The time for performance of a project is usually of the essence to the employer and the contractor. This has made it quite imperative for contracting parties to analyse project delays for purposes of making right decisions on potential time and/or cost compensation claims. Over the years, existing delay analysis techniques (DATs) for aiding this decision-making have been helpful but have not succeeded in curbing the high incidence of disputes associated with delay claims resolutions. A major source of the disputes lies with the limitations and capabilities of the techniques in their practical use. Developing a good knowledge of these aspects of the techniques is of paramount importance in understanding the real problematic issues involved and their improvement needs. This paper seeks to develop such knowledge and understanding (as part of a wider research work) via: an evaluation of the most common DATs based on a case study, a review of the key relevant issues often not addressed by the techniques, and the necessary improvements needs. The evaluation confirmed that the various techniques yield different analysis results for the same delay claims scenario, mainly due to their unique application procedures. The issues that are often ignored in the analysis but would also affect delay analysis results are: functionality of the programming software employed for the analysis, resource loading and levelling requirements, resolving concurrent delays, and delay-pacing strategy. Improvement needs by way of incorporating these issues in the analysis and focusing on them in future research work are the key recommendations of the study. Full article

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